"Marketing Mix" snack bags to illustrate Bowman Media Model effectiveness in QSR Marketing

Using the Bowman Media Model to Optimize Your QSR Marketing Mix

There is a better way to predict the effectiveness of your media marketing mix.

It’s not the end-all. Nothing is. But the Bowman Media Modeling technique provides 3 tremendous benefits:

  1. It greatly eliminates the subjectivity in the media mix. You can now quantify your recommendations.
  2. It provides better ROI.
  3. It allows you to better forecast the results of changes to the marketing mix and promotions.

Media mix is second, only to creative, in soliciting unqualified and unwanted opinions.  

Everyone has their favorite medium or can tell you the most effective medium based on what they’ve recently read, what medium they think their children consume, or what medium they and their spouse consume. All obviously highly effective and scientific ways to determine the mix.

I had a client who insisted talk radio was key to reaching his blue-collar target audience in spite of the ratings. I’ve also had input from store managers in the field who insist their favorite country station is what all their customers listen to, only to stand in their store and see an 80% ethnic skew.

Regardless of how much you track and analyze, it’s extremely difficult to pinpoint the contribution of each medium or to quantify the expectations of changing the mix.

For years in the grocery channel, Nielsen has used scanner data gathered from all grocery stores to effectively track and predict the incremental transactions on everything from in-store displays, to pricing, to media. Since the data is gathered from all stores, on all products, during the same time periods, Nielsen’s modeling takes into account competitive behavior and market conditions.

The problem in QSR is that you don’t have national scanner data. You have to rely on your testing and tracking, which is helpful but not nearly as accurate.

Then I was introduced to the Bowman Media Model. This model uses a proprietary methodology and math to predict your optimum media mix with a 97% confidence level.

You start by providing three years of readily available data, such as:

  • Transactions by week
  • Advertising flow charts
  • Price fluctuations

The Bowman Model combines your data with input, such as:

  • The Michigan Consumer Sentiment Score
  • Unemployment levels
  • A database of past results

The Bowman Model then calculates metrics, such as:

  • Total ROI of your media mix
  • ROI per medium
  • The effect each medium has on the effectiveness of the other mediums in the mix
  • The optimum media mix

This chart is an example of an initial analysis of the media mix of a regional QSR franchise in one of their markets:

Chart of Media Mix analysisGiven the budget in that market, only one medium can be optimized—in this case TV. It is slightly over-optimized based on the budget in that market.

Now the question becomes, if I move money from TV, where do I place it to achieve the best ROI?

This chart, using Bowman’s in-depth analysis, provides a simple summary of that question:

Chart showing media mix ROI effectiveness.


As you can see, in the bottom right corner of each chart, the ROI of this plan has greatly increased.

Remember, you also have your sales and transaction tracking to support this as well.

photo credit: a derivative of work by albund via Shutterstock

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